How to Replace Your Car's Camshaft Synchronizer
The camshaft synchronizer is one of the smaller components of your car that can pose a big problem when they're broken. Part of the engine's electrical control system, the camshaft synchronizer collects and transmits the point of rotation of the camshaft to the car computer. And when it breaks down, the car computer won't be able to time the spark to ignite the fuel and air mixture inside the engine cylinders.
Difficulty level: Difficult
- Synchronizer alignment gauge
- Socket and ratchet set
- Wheel chock/block
Step 1: Disconnect the battery and put the transmission in neutral. Place a wheel chock or block behind the rear tires to prevent your car from moving while you're replacing the synchronizer.
Step 2: Turn the crankshaft until the first engine cylinder is set at the top dead center position of the compression stroke. The marker should line up directly with the timing mark.
Step 3: Remove the air filter, air intake tube and intake manifold. Refer to the user manual on how to remove these components properly from your car.
Step 4: Remove the camshaft sensor. If the sensor is attached to a camshaft connector, remove that first as well. Once it's removed, remove the camshaft synchronizer bolt.
Step 5: Carefully pull out the synchronizer. NOTE: Be careful not to dislocate the oil pump; if you hear a metallic sound when you take out the synchronizer, the oil pump is likely to have been dislocated and will not pump oil into the engine.
Step 6: Using the alignment tool, align the replacement synchronizer by rotating the tool until it engages the notch of the synchronizer housing and armature.
Step 7: Lubricate the shaft, gear and o-ring on the new synchronizer. Once it's oiled up, slot the synchronizer into the engine.
Feel the teeth while rotating the shaft to get it in the right position.
Step 8: Once it is slotted in tight, check if the actuator is center in the gap and the gap is facing the original direction of the connector. Make adjustments if necessary.
Step 9: Re-install the camshaft sensor, connectors and bolts. Make sure that all are tightened securely onto the engine.
Step 10: Connect the battery and start up the engine.
It should take around 4 hours for a seasoned DIYer to 6 hours for newbie to complete installation.